Paul Travis, Managing Partner of Washington Square Partners joins us for this week’s ‘Five Minutes With’. Washington Square Partners has been nominated for excellence in the retail development category for the City Point project. Read about what qualities he believes makes an effective leader and how City Point broke the Downtown Brooklyn “code”.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?
Bruce Ratner had the greatest influence on my career and gave me three essential pieces of advice: First, understand the math of a project in your head so you can make sure the numbers actually make sense as opposed to thinking they are correct because the Excel model spits it out. Second, projects succeed because they fill a basic need that is otherwise not being sufficiently addressed in that market. Third, complicated (and valuable) projects take a long time- staying power wins the game.
What qualities do you think are essential to be an effective leader?
Communicating a vision is key. Whether it is the mission of a project- what it is going to achieve- or where you want your client to be at the completion of an assignment, understanding the end goal is critical for everyone to work together to the same end. Then let people go out and do their job and try not to get in the way!
I am most proud of City Point for breaking the Downtown Brooklyn “code”. It has succeeded in serving both the historic shoppers on Fulton Street and the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods who have not previously made use of the retail, food, and entertainment resources downtown. I think the project communicates an appeal to a broad audience through its quality level and diversity of options- it avoids the new retail trend of falling into a narrow niche.